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Job 4:13-14

Context

4:13 In the troubling thoughts 1  of the dreams 2  in the night

when a deep sleep 3  falls on men,

4:14 a trembling 4  gripped me – and a terror! –

and made all my bones shake. 5 

1 tn Here too the word is rare. The form שְׂעִפִּים (sÿippim, “disquietings”) occurs only here and in 20:2. The form שַׂרְעַפִּים (sarappim, “disquieting thoughts”), possibly related by dissimilation, occurs in Pss 94:19 and 139:23. There seems to be a connection with סְעִפִּים (sÿippim) in 1 Kgs 18:21 with the meaning “divided opinion”; this is related to the idea of סְעִפָּה (sÿippah, “bough”). H. H. Rowley (Job [NCBC], 47) concludes that the point is that like branches the thoughts lead off into different and bewildering places. E. Dhorme (Job, 50) links the word to an Arabic root (“to be passionately smitten”) for the idea of “intimate thoughts.” The idea here and in Ps 139 has more to do with anxious, troubling, disquieting thoughts, as in a nightmare.

2 tn Heb “visions” of the night.

3 tn The word תַּרְדֵּמָה (tardemah) is a “deep sleep.” It is used in the creation account when the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam; and it is used in the story of Jonah when the prophet was asleep during the storm. The LXX interprets it to mean “fear,” rendering the whole verse “but terror falls upon men with dread and a sound in the night.”

4 tn The two words פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”) and רְעָדָה (rÿadah, “terror”) strengthen each other as synonyms (see also Ps 55:6). The subject of the verb קָרָא (qara’, “befall, encounter”) is פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”); its compound subject has been placed at the end of the colon.

5 tn The subject of the Hiphil verb הִפְחִיד (hifkhid, “dread”) is פַּחַד (pakhad, “trembling”), which is why it is in the singular. The cognate verb intensifies and applies the meaning of the noun. BDB 808 s.v. פַּחַד Hiph translates it “fill my bones with dread.” In that sense “bones” would have to be a metonymy of subject representing the framework of the body, so that the meaning is that his whole being was filled with trembling.



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